Goal setting is a powerful process for bringing about change. Identifying what you want and mapping out a plan of action helps you achieve your dreams, both personally and professionally. The same is true for students. Since the goal-setting process can be unfamiliar and challenging, I’d like to offer a few tips, a freebie, and some additional resources for teaching these skills to students. You can find even more strategies in Classroom Goal Setting.
Sometime in January many of you may be ending one grading period and starting another. This is a perfect time for students to reflect on the goals they set earlier and to set goals for the new grading period. When I was teaching, this was the time of year that students reviewed their grades and quarterly test results, they identified which goals they had met. Next, they wrote goals and action plans for the upcoming grading period.
Sounds simple, right? Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite as simple as it sounds! The process may seem easy, but it’s a concept that takes time to develop. I explained the process in great deal Classroom Goal Setting, but I want to share a few more tips and tricks to help make things even easier.
Student journals are extremely effective for recording goals and reflecting on progress. Even elementary school students can set goals and track their progress when given the right tools and guidance.
I recently created a small half-page journal called Tracking My Goals as a companion to my Classroom Goal Setting book. This mini pack includes directions for assembling the journal and 20 different options for journal covers and pages. You can mix and match to create a journal that meets the needs of your students. To preview all the page options, click here. I also have a version for older students called My Goal Tracker that’s available on TpT.
When I first created this item, it was just for upper elementary students. Then 1st and 2nd grade teachers asked for a primary variation, and I worked with them to create a variety of additional pages. Now you can choose between two different cover styles and over a dozen inside pages to create your own customized journal!
A few years ago, Education World asked me to write an article about goal setting. I had so much information to share that this one article turned into a series of three articles called Goal Setting 101. They’re a great place to start if you want to know more about the goal setting in the classroom. Goal setting is a powerful process. What greater gift can we give our students than to share this process with them? I hope these resources will help!